CVs are almost always accompanied by a well written and targeted cover letter.

Why include a cover letter?

A covering letter is an opportunity to impress a potential employer with your enthusiasm and ambition, clearly demonstrating your interest in this specific role at this particular organisation. It can be a major determinant of success and is particularly critical for speculative applications. Always personalise your letter by sending it to a named person if you can rather than 'Dear Sir / Madam'.

What information is needed and how should it be laid out?

  • Follow any specific instructions from the employer.
  • Try to present your unique selling points in a relevant and interesting way
  • Typically only one side of A4 and limit the letter to around four main paragraphs
  • Use the same font size as your CV (minimum 10pt and maximum 12pt)
  • Break the letter down into sections and ensure you cover the 4 'Ws':
  1. What job are you applying for?
  2. What are you offering?
  3. Why do you want to work in this sector/organisation?
  4. When are you available for interview?

Search for ‘covering letter’ within the resources section of Engage for more information about what to include in a covering letter and some examples.